Evaluation of a pilot promotora program for Latino forest workers in southern Oregon

Authors


  • Institution at which the work was performed: The Alliance of Forest Workers and Harvesters and the Labor Occupational Health Program, UC Berkeley
  • Disclosure Statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.
  • The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Mention of company names or products does not constitute endorsement by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Contract for Solicitation #254-2010-34335
  • U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (2010–2011 and 2011–2012) SH20823SHO SH-22218-11-60-F-6

Abstract

Background

Forest work, an occupation with some of the highest injury and illness rates, is conducted primarily by Latino immigrant workers. This study evaluates a pilot program where promotoras (lay community health educators) provided occupational health and safety trainings for Latino forest workers.

Methods

Evaluation methods included a focus group, post-tests, and qualitative feedback.

Results

Community capacity to address working conditions increased through (i) increased leadership and community access to information and resources; and (ii) increased worker awareness of workplace health and safety rights and resources. Fear of retaliation remains a barrier to workers taking action; nevertheless, the promotoras supported several workers in addressing-specific workplace issues.

Conclusions

For working conditions to significantly improve, major structural influences need to be addressed. A long-term, organizationally supported promotora program can play a key role in linking and supporting change at the individual, interpersonal and community levels, contributing to and supporting structural change. Am. J. Ind. Med. 57:788–799, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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